Barbie. The object of desire to so many young girls, young men, and even some older men and older women. So slender. So proportionally abnormal. So...white. And, as it turns out, this staple of American child consumerism comes in many, now valuable flavors. Do you have these in your treasure chest?
The Peaches 'N' Cream Barbie was initially released in 1985 — so the Reagan years. If you have this garishly dressed, blue-eyed goddess festooned with chiffon and ruffles, draped in an iridescent full skirt, then you're not the $199.99 richer for it.
3. Peaches And Cream Barbie Commercial
She even had her own commercial! She's like a non-living, non-breathing, magnetizing beauty right out of Dynasty. In fact, most of the actors in Dynasty were non-living and non-breathing. But $199? Can't go wrong.
Totally Hair Barbie is like...real hair, real '90s, real woman. Not the last part: she's not a woman at all. But she's totally worth real cash. Released in 1992, she embodied the extravagance that the prosperous Clinton years ushered into the U.S. Economy, and the outsized fashion styles that followed. Now she's worth $160 — post Great Recession.
5. Totally In A Commercial
Totally Hair Barbie had a lot of hair. So it's no coincidence that that was the main selling point Mattel used in this totally '90s commercial. It features mirrors galore, spiked hair (practically de rigueur back then) and hair gel — brimming with PCBs.
Pink & Pretty Barbie was an elegant, charming, and rather demure Barbie. One could see her attending only the most exclusive society parties, and offending absolutely no one with unconventional notions or scathing criticisms of the present governmental regime. She fetches a comely $169.95.
The My Size Barbie stood at a towering three-feet tall, and though she still had the proportions of a well-endowed, but anatomically impossible post-pubescent woman, Mattel was certain that they could market her to little girls still discovering their identities and what it means to be female. She came out in 1992, and a mint condition of her comes at $220.
Now, the Teen Talk Barbie was unique in that it was manufactured with a voice box that played random phrases whenever activated. Some sayings, like "Wanna have a pizza party?" and "You look so cool!" were innocuous enough, if vapid. But the one that got Mattel into some trouble was this one: "Math class is hard!" Well, you can imagine the backlash it received from perpetuating the myth that girls aren't capable of the STEM classes. Probably some Google executive is snatching up all these gems for his private collection. You can buy or sell it for $100.
To offset some of the more urbane attributes Barbie was developing over the years, Walking Barbie & New Baby Sister Krissy was rolled out to give the icon some rural flavor. Who are Barbie's parents? Why has she been burdened with a new mouth to feed? The only question you should have is how much is she worth? The answer: $179.95.
I mean, the "You've Got To Be Kidding Me" Barbie. The Pink Jubilee Barbie was handed out to moneybags at an invitation-only (read 1 percent of 1 percent) extravaganza at Lincoln Center in NYC. Now she runs $3000 for an original. She's wearing tinfoil, people. Tinfoil.
Barbie's appeal is as ageless as the plastic that was molded to make her skin, and will likely be as everlasting as the waste created by her manufacturing now sitting somewhere in the Hudson River. But when talking about the 1988 Happy Holidays Special Edition Barbie, we can forget all that and lose ourselves in her cascading tulle gown and maelstrom-like hairdo, which is reminiscent of the brutal winters the Vikings had to battle in their wintertimes. She's worth a cool $500.
Is there any greater love than that of a child for a humanoid, vulcanized piece of rubber? Loving You Barbie came with heart-shaped stickers you could decorate her dress with, or cover her eyes with in case her infinite gaze grew too unsettling. This one runs for $155.
But Barbie wouldn't be a true American phenomenon if it didn't emphasize the importance of an outmoded, antiquated, even self-destructive institution like marriage. Dream Glow Barbie & Ken were sold as a matching set in this nuptial package, which, back in 1985, would fit right in with Reagan's right-wing religio-political outlook. It's now worth $299 for the set, or the same as the initial consultation to a divorce lawyer.
14. Dream Of Barbie
Dream Glow Barbie & Ken had their own commercial. In it you can see young girls engaged in a psychodrama, carrying out romantic fantasies implanted by big corporations and years of misguided tradition, rather than cultivating a sense of self as separate from other.
Of course, if you're just looking to make a quick buck, go for it. But if you're at all interested in what a human being with Barbie's proportions would look lik, look no further. As the Daily Mail put it, "If Barbie was a real woman she'd be forced to walk on all fours and would be physically incapable of lifting her over-sized head - perhaps a far cry from what the designers of Mattel envisioned." There you have it, folks.